Recently, a customer came into the shop with a pretty serious problem– they were experiencing intense rattling at highway speeds of about 70-75 MPH. The culprit? Bald tires.
What are “bald” tires?
When tires go “bald,” it means that their tread has been worn to the point of being smooth– and it’s a big safety concern. Tires are designed with treads to provide your vehicle with traction, especially on slick roads. The tread are the groovy, textured part of the tire that contacts the road and pushes water and snow away from the tires, allowing the tires to maintain traction with the road. Over time, as you drive and the tread rubs against the road, it wears down. When a tire’s tread is completely worn down to the tread’s wear bars, you have a bald tire.
How can I tell if my tire is bald?
You can easily tell if your tires’ tread is too worn using an old trick– The Penny Test. To perform the penny test, slide a penny between the tread blocks of a tire with Lincoln’s head upside down. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, that means your tread depth is under the recommended minimum of 6/32 of an inch. You should monitor your tires closely as they will likely attention in the near future.
When should I replace a bald tire?
We often hear from our customers that they dread buying new tires. And, as a result, most people put off replacing them until it’s absolutely necessary. But, if your tires are bald, you need to replace them right away. Driving with bald tires will drastically increase your vehicle’s stopping distance, especially when roads are wet, making you more likely to get into an accident. And the frightening truth is that more than 1 out of every 10 vehicles on the road has at least one bald tire.
Upon completion of the technician’s inspection, we came to the conclusion that this customer’s vehicle needed all four tires. The tires were both out of balance and bald, and that nasty combination was causing the vehicle to vibrate. Tires are a consistent component of vehicles so many tire issues will cause vibration at the same speed every time; if your car shakes at the same speed, tires are the first thing to check.
Bald tires increase your vehicle’s stopping distance, especially when roads are wet! Do not risk being in an accident due to bald tires. Have your technicians inspect your tires every oil change.
If your vehicle is showing any of these symptoms, bring it to the service experts here at V&F Auto and allow one of our technicians to inspect your vehicle. You should also have your technicians regularly inspect your tires, ideally at every oil change, to check your tires regularly for irregular wear and other exterior damage such as cuts, cracks, or bulges.
If you do discover damage or need your tires replaced, give us a call. All of our auto repair services are backed by an industry-leading 3 year / 36,000-mile warranty on parts and labor. Contact us at (413) 314-2280 or schedule an appointment online.
Written by Nicole Palange
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